The cloud provides businesses with many benefits like flexibility, scalability, cost effective resource use and elasticity, but one of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is how it’s changed the nature of disaster recovery and business continuity.
The cloud has made disaster recovery more cost-effective and has allowed smaller businesses to deploy comprehensive disaster recovery plans for their entire IT infrastructure. The cloud can play many roles when it comes to DR and business continuity. Virtualization means much faster recovery times, less downtime, and multi-site availability all at a fraction of the cost of conventional disaster recovery methods.
DR Benefits of Cloud Computing
The first and most basic element the cloud offers in terms of DR and business continuity is simplifying offsite data backup. While most large businesses have some sort of backup strategy, often they are not sending their data offsite, or at least not far enough offsite. Many do not have regional contingencies built into their disaster recovery strategy.
Weather, geological or other potential risks can affect your ability to recover locally if the data is not remote enough. The cloud gives business the ability to store critical data remotely online. Virtualization allows for faster recovery times and business continuity. The nature of server virtualization relies on networking. Because virtual servers are created as single data packets, in the event of a failure, your server can be transferred almost instantly to another virtual server at a recovery site halfway around the world.
This means that your entire server including your operating system, applications and data can be moved without having to physically load components onto a hardware server. Recovery time and cost are exponentially reduced when compared to conventional DR methods where physical servers need to be rebuilt using taped backups. The cloud allows critical data to be backed-up to another server, site, or private host platform in minutes!
Network Replication and Business Continuity
Network replication is the key to business continuity. The nature of the cloud allows host companies to network servers at various offsite data centers. By using network replication, cloud host providers can replicate entire client networks at a separate disaster recovery site, including all IP address mapping, firewall rules and VLAN configurations. Effective networking by host providers means that not only data but also all network configurations are replicated in minutes.
This means that a company can effectively be up and running from any disaster, as quickly as the backup occurs. Host providers using technology like “pilot light” environments are ready to scale up in seconds. “Hot standby” environments enable rapid fail over which means providers are prepared to quickly and securely recover clients IT infrastructure, networks and data. These technologies enable business continuity even in the event of a major disaster.
The takeaway, the cloud has made rapid disaster recovery a reality for every business. Add this to the list of benefits the cloud offers and it becomes clear that migrating your company to the cloud is a smart business decision!